APCUG is pleased to announce that Yomar Cleary, Vice President, Big Bear Computer Club in California, is the recipient of the 2014 Volunteer of the Year Award.
Volunteers are the backbone of APCUG and its member groups; they are what keep their user groups viable. Volunteers come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities plus they all have a different reason for volunteering. They are idea people and do-it people. All user group volunteers have this in common: their advocacy for technology and their user group.
Meet Yomar Cleary: She is a charter member of the 19-year-old Big Bear Computer Club (BBCC). Over those 19 years, she converted the club to a computer learning center. The club was started by a group of “gamers” and lasted for a couple of years but what was needed was a place where people could learn computer skills. It was through her efforts that brought about the change. She has great organizational skills and is very active in the community. Yomar is always looking for ways that the Computer Club can support the community. Over the years, Yomar has served as President, Vice President, and Secretary plus various committee chairmanships. She has served as Program Chair for many years.
Through Yomar’s organizational skills, she started the process of incorporating the BBCC and made it a 501(c)3 organization. She then proceeded to get the Club’s website set up (www.bigbearcc.org). Yomar has been instrumental in setting up computer workshops open to the community on various subjects. Along these lines, she felt that a Learning Center could benefit the community and provide a place for individuals to attend computer classes. She set up the class schedules and recruited tutors who would help. Yomar conducts four hour Microsoft Office workshops on various subjects that are open to the entire community and very well received.
Yomar has taken on the task of doing the newsletter for a couple of years until the club recruited someone to take it over. She still provides the editor with articles and general information for the newsletter. Another task is handling the Book Reviews by ordering books, finding members to do reviews on books; submitting them to the newsletter editor and publishing them online. She also coordinates the sponsors for the club’s newsletter, sending reminders for their monthly donations. She promotes the club through various news media: TV, radio, and newspaper. She makes arrangements with store fronts to set up an information table letting the community know who we are. Yomar attends community meetings and does presentations on what we have to offer to the community.
Recently, the MAC User Group disbanded because of no leadership and she invited them to join BBCC which they have 100 plus members. The club meetings and newsletter are now addressing both platforms.
Meet the Other Nominees:
Pat Anicka, Librarian and Webmaster, CPUser Group, Pennsylvania
Pat is the driving force in developing the club web site, maintains the web content and administers the lending library of computer books. She is always available to serve, is very computer literate and helps new members with their computer issues. She has given numerous presentations to demonstrate interesting software. She also volunteers at the local branch of the Carnegie library where she gives computer workshops for interested patrons. Pat accomplishes everything with professionalism and a smile.
Kathy Frey, Computer Club of Green Valley, Arizona
Kathy has been the mainstay for keeping the Club going since its inception in 1989. She was the first woman who joined and, ever since, has worked tirelessly to improve the workings of the club, and was the first instructor. Thanks to Kathy’s efforts, the roles of women in the Club improved rapidly where they, today, have women in leadership roles. She keeps abreast of technology and teaches many classes. Kathy will go to a member’s home to assist with correcting problems with the member’s computer. Kathy was the webmaster for 20 years, has served on every committee and coordinates the photo contests, ensuring entries are submitted to the various conferences.
Jerry Gillette, Treasurer, Bowling Green Area Microcomputer User Group, Kentucky
Since 1987 when Jerry became the first Vice President of the club, he has served in every position in BGAMUG. He has been the glue that has held the club together. When people in Bowling Green think of the computer club, they think of Jerry. He is continually finding innovative ways to keep the club programs interesting. His ideas have kept BGAMUG alive throughout the years. He came up with the idea to have a club auction where members bring their unused equipment – it’s been a big hit. He gives presentations at the club at least three times a year, never misses a board meeting and if they have to modify their by-laws he’s the one that always volunteers.
John Kullander, Raffle Coordinator, Greater Cleveland pcug, Ohio
For many years, John has been their raffle coordinator, which involves bringing the raffle prizes and the supplies needed to conduct the raffle. This fall, when their program chair has been unable to attend and run the meetings, John has stepped up and filled in; he has conducted the raffle as well as run the meetings. John is very conscientious and dependable. On rare occasions, when he can’t attend, he makes sure he has a backup. It’s important to have a friendly atmosphere at meetings; John is very good at greeting the regulars by name. John takes the monthly raffle very seriously, he is always prepared and makes sure everyone gets their raffle ticket. At the end of the meeting, he packs up quickly and is ready to help others clean-up and pack-up.
Ken Eskridge, Volunteer, Computers Assisting People, Ohio
Computers Assisting People (CAP) is a group that spends most of its time recycling and refurbishing computers for local non-profits organizations. Ken a.k.a. Kenny is a good, solid regular volunteer that is the backbone of the organization. He is usually the first to arrive and the last to leave for the day. Kenny is in his late 80s and his energy level puts the rest of us to shame. Because of Kenny’s long association with the group, he is a valuable resource for other less experienced volunteers in the group. They know that they can depend on him for advice and guidance on what they are working on. While he may be in the middle of a refurbishing project, Kenny is always willing to stop and help another volunteer who is stuck and needs help. When people come and drop equipment, he is the first one heading for the door to carry stuff in. In a recycling and refurbishing operation, it’s a constant battle to keep equipment organized and cataloged. Kenny makes it part of his job to take stuff to the dumpster or move monitors and cases to their designated storage location. This is over and above doing his regular projects of getting computers set up and ready to be delivered to needy clients of non-profit organizations, churches and inner city schools.
Richard Schmidt, Member, Board of Directors, Greenspring Village Computer Club, Maryland
Rich has been a member of the Greenspring Village Club’s Board for about 10 years – almost as long as he has been a Greenspring Retirement Community resident. During that period he has been a tireless volunteer in all aspects of the club’s 600+ member Computer Club. He logs hundreds of volunteer hours each year by: making calls to help other residents overcome their computer related problems; teaching classes in Microsoft Office applications as well as a 6 week Beginner’s Class; overseeing a Club Computer lab with 9 computers and 3 printers available to the club’s members 24 hours a day; making presentations to the Club as well as presentations in several non-computer related organizations. The Club has a published list of a dozen or so Volunteer Helpers that offer to go into our community of 2000 resident to assist in solving computer problems Rich spends a great deal of time helping other residents in our retirement community with the day-to-day problems they encounter while trying to cope with their uncooperative machines — he has a reputation as one of the top “Troubleshooters.”
Toby Scott, Technical Advisor, Presenter, Past President, Channel Islands PCUG, California
Toby has been President, Q & A moderator, technical advisor, and board member while guiding CIPCUG through many purchases and rental contracts and advising on the philosophy and direction of their user group. He volunteered and did a great amount of technical research when they needed to upgrade their equipment and successfully renegotiated the contract with the group’s location when they tried to raise the fee for their meetings, enabling them to continue meeting at the same location.
With his technical background, extremely few can speak so professional to such a broad audience as members of a computer club. Toby keeps a few presentations in reserve just in case the presenter has an emergency; he has volunteered to present at other clubs in exchange for their members speaking at CIPCUG. Toby is the most knowledgeable individual in their group on software and hardware & malware – members have learned a great deal from him over the years! He has covered current computer issues before the official alerts are distributed at the current president’s job. The USN Information Assurance Manager has expressed his gratitude for Toby’s information. Toby keeps the club current on available freeware programs and prepares them for distribution on club flash drives. For many years Toby has handled question and answer sessions at club meetings. He makes himself available to answer emergency situation questions from members, both those submitted by email and those asked by phone calls